Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 11/24/14.
Each week, the HRD team will be sharing songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from up-and-coming and established artists.
In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday will also feature a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine” for older songs (from the 70s to today) that flew under the radar and never got their just due.
All of the songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be heard on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section.
This week, Music Discovery Monday features an interview with legendary vocalist, Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple, Yngwie Malmsteen) discussing his new band, Rated X, and a duet that he did with unheralded vocalist, George Gakis.
**Click on any hyperlinked song titles to read extended Hard Rock Daddy reviews.**
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
RATED X – “Fire And Ice”
The debut single from a “supergroup” that promises to be a band to be reckoned with, and not just another in a long line of “side projects.” Featuring the age-defying, stellar vocals of Joe Lynn Turner, hard rock drumming legend, Carmine Appice, his Blue Murder rhythm section mate, Tony Franklin (bass) and Karl Cochran (JLT’s longtime guitarist), Rated X’s music needs only one word to describe it – TIMELESS! “Fire And Ice” was chosen because it is the first single, but literally, any other track could have justifiably been selected for Music Discovery Monday.
Joe Lynn Turner discussed “Fire And Ice” in our recent interview (which will be published soon in its entirety on HardRockDaddy.com)…
“I love the lyrical content of the song. I think that this whole world is facing an apocalyptic future. You’ve got constant wars with people fighting and killing each other, and it’s really dangerous. Nobody seems to want to put their hands up, and just say ‘enough…stop!’
The song is saying that after all of the bombs have been dropped, in a post-apocalyptic world, all that is left on this earth is ‘fire and ice.’ It’s kind of like the movie Book Of Eli or Road Warrior.
The song has a classic, metal type of riff. It’s beautiful, it’s deep, it’s sensitive and it’s got a message, like a lot of the songs on the album. Even though they’re catchy, we’re trying to say something.”
JOE LYNN TURNER & GEORGE GAKIS – “Street Of Broken Dreams”
Today may be the first time that you’ve learned about Rated X, but if you are a hard rock fan, you are undoubtedly familiar with much of Joe Lynn Turner’s work. The same cannot be said for George Gakis, who considers JLT his close friend and mentor. Exposing Hard Rock Daddy readers to talented musicians like Gakis is exactly why Music Discovery Monday was launched.
With Gakis’ rich, soulful voice (reminiscent of classic David Coverdale), he and JLT have teamed up to create a duet for the ages with “Street Of Broken Dreams.” Is it hyperbolic to say that this is the best hard rock duet that you’ve probably never heard? Listen to the song and decide for yourself…
The story behind the meaning of “Street Of Broken Dreams” and the process in which it was recorded is a fascinating one. Joe Lynn Turner explains…
“George is a close friend, a great guy and a real, true musician, artist, writer and singer. One day, he called me and said that he had written a song inspired by ‘Street Of Dreams’ called ‘Street Of Broken Dreams.’ Whereas ‘Street Of Dreams’ is about a kind of reincarnated love that works out in the end, ‘Street Of Broken Dreams’ takes the opposite approach; it’s about the moment that things fall apart in a relationship.
George asked me if I would do the song as a duet with him, and I was all for it, because I thought that it was such a cool idea. To record the duet, I sang the entire song here in the states, and then George edited it so there was a back and forth.
We recently performed the song live in his hometown of Ioannina (in north-western Greece) at a big festival. Like ‘Street Of Broken Dreams,’ George’s entire album is a piece of classic rock that deserves to be heard!”
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
SANTA CRUZ – “Relentless Renegades”
Finnish outfit with one full-length album (Screaming For Adrenaline) under their belt thus far, Santa Cruz’s debut single (“Relentless Renegades”) showed promise of things to come. The band currently falls into the glam/sleaze niche of the hard rock genre. With another album due to arrive in 2015, there’s a chance that we could see them expand their range, or perhaps, the rock world will once again start to embrace more young talent like this Finnish foursome.
RED CANNONS – “Underneath The Floorboards”
Three brothers from Alberta, and a long-time friend from the next town over, combine to make up one of the more promising young bands in Canada. Their Edgar Allen Poe-inspired debut single got some airplay in their home country, but it’s their ability to channel blues rock influences into a contemporary hard rock sound that makes them a band to keep an eye on for broader success in the future.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
MIKE LEPOND’S SILENT ASSASSINS – “The Quest”
Bassist, Mike Lepond (Symphony X), has crafted a hard-hitting solo album with the eponymous Mike Lepond’s Silent Assassins (2014), featuring a diverse collection of power metal pieces. “The Quest” opens with a harpsichord, and moves into acoustic guitars and strings before taking off with the thrashy, melodic vocals of Alan Tecchio (Hades, Seven Witches, Watchtower). As expected, the bass playing is flawless in this folky, epic track.
JESSE DAMON – “Garden Of Eve”
“Garden of Eve” is a catchy, mid-tempo tune by vocalist, Jesse Damon (ex-Silent Rage) off of his 2013 release, Temptation in the Garden of Eve. Heavier than his earlier solo work, this collaboration with bassist/producer, Paul Sabu, really hits the mark a strong Whitesnake feel.
RAGE OF ANGELS – “The Beating Of Your Heart”
“The Beating of Your Heart” is a bluesy, power ballad from Rage of Angels’ 2013 release, Dreamwork. The album is a collaborative effort between a host of fine musicians, featuring different vocalists and guest parts on each track. While less famous than some of the others, the vocalist on this track, David Lee Watson, delivers a soaring performance. He is balanced out perfectly by the soulful accompaniment of guest guitarist, Tommy Denander.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
W.E.T – “Still Unbroken”
Jeff Scott Soto…where ya been? Apparently Sweden, where he hooked up with the rest of the band in W.E.T. to create some quality melodic metal with their 2013 release, Rise Up. “Still Unbroken” (the best track off the album) is a positive tune that features really good, polished vocals and a clear, powerful sound that is reminiscent of one of Joe Lynn Turner’s projects.
HELLOWEEN – “Waiting For The Thunder”
“Waiting For The Thunder” features a terrific, change-of-pace intro with a message that is summed up in one line…“A man as I am, I don’t give a damn!” Combine that with their unmistakable signature sound, and this one will get your blood pumping. After 30 years, Helloween is still kicking ass!
SLOUGH FEG – “Digital Resistance”
This heavy metal band from Pennsylvania shows influence from the early years of both Iron Maiden and Rush. Highlighted by the talented drumming of Harry Cantwell, this astutely executed track features precise tempo changes. A thick, low-tech sound gives it that raw flavor (similar to Maiden’s Piece of Mind), and Michael Scalzi has got a little Rik Emmett goin’ in the vocals.
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
AXE – “Rock N Roll Party In The Streets” (1982)
By 1982, Rainbow (featuring Joe Lynn Turner – see above) had quickly become my favorite band. That same year, Axe released the incredibly melodic anthem, “Rock And Roll Party In The Streets.” The Texas rockers landed opening gigs with some of the biggest names in metal (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions and Motley Crue), before their career was derailed by a horrific car crash that killed one member and seriously injured another. Only one big hit came out of the band’s brief career, but it’s a great one!
VAIN – “Beat The Bullet” (1989)
Another band whose career is largely defined by one album (No Respect – 1989). However, Vain (featuring Davy Vain) has released six studio albums through the years (the most recent was 2011). “Beat The Bullet” is a cool rocker in the “vain” of Motley Crue and Ratt. Unfortunately, lineup changes, a brief name change when Steven Adler (GNR) was in the band, and the arrival of the grunge movement all played a role in Vain’s relative obscurity.
Y&T – “Black Tiger” (1982)
After nearly a decade on the scene, rock radio and MTV finally took notice of these California rockers in the mid-80s. Dedicated hard rock fans were ahead of the media curve, having already become fans of the band’s 1981 album Earthshaker, and the underrated title track from their 1982 release, Black Tiger. A driving, hard rock song with a little more edge than some of the better known hits that would eventually follow from Y&T.
LANSDOWNE – “Watch Me Burn” (2011)
Described as “one of the best unsigned bands in America” for too long, these Boston natives seem to be the total package as far as Active Rock acts go, yet somehow, they remain almost criminally underappreciated. If hard work, talent and personality weren’t enough, you’d think that their ability to craft catchy, hook-laden songs would land them among the elite Active Rock bands, but it hasn’t happened…yet.
THE CODEX – “Bring Down The Moon” (2007)
“Bring Down the Moon” pairs the majestic vocals of Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen) with the guitar work and production of Magnus Karlsson. This is one of many amazing tunes from The Codex’s 2007 self-titled album. Solid melodic metal that you won’t want to miss!
CONSTANCIA – “Dying By Your Flames” (2009)
“Dying By Your Flames” is a power ballad packed with harmonies and emotion. From the band’s 2009 release, Lost and Gone, it features the keyboards of founder, Mikael Rosengren, and the awesome vocals of David Frenenberg.
HALFORD – “Heart Of A Lion” (2001)
Ripper Owens had already been Rob Halford’s replacement in Judas Priest for a number of years when I heard “Heart Of A Lion.” I remember wondering if Halford had re-joined Priest when I heard it the first time. This classic track is one of Halford’s best between his departure and eventual return to Priest.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…